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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Gesell Institute of Child Development Inc

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Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has given me the courage to continue to teach my children in my classroom what is developmentally appropriate for their age group. This is very hard as the new Kindergarten is the old first grade. Children have little or no time to play and socialize because academics and testing have become so important. Each day the children have time to play, socialize and work in small groups with hands on materials. They are able to practice concretely the skills they are learning and master these skills in their own time. They are so much happier.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute has been an advocate, supporter, and educator for young children and their families for over 60 years. We promote an understanding of the stages of development in childhood, and identify age appropriate expectations for educators and parents to help them provide a nurturing environment for children's healthy growth.

1 John C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have two small children 5 & 6. Now that they are in school, there is such a large focus on homework and grading I feel like they are not keeping up. The institute teaches us that each child develops at their own pace through certain stages and to think all children will master reading, writing and math at the same time if it is pushed on them is not accurate. This gives me a sense of ease about how my children are developing and I trust the institute's findings that they will develop at their own pace.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently attended a Gesell Institute GDO-R Workshop for the first time. It was a great 3-day experience. My instructor, who spoke from life experience, being a mother herself and a elementary school principal, was very knowledgeable presenter. I took this info back to my classroom and now even look at my students with a whole new understanding. I feel that I can now be a better teacher becuase of the Gesell Developmental Observation-Resvised. Gesell Institute has been educating adults about the ages & stages of child development since the 50s, and Gesell assessments have been successfully used for the past 85 years! Many more schools across the country should know of their expertise.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As an administrator and former teacher of an Independent School, we have been using the Gesell Developmental Observation for 30 years. Our school curriculum and programs are developmentally appropriate. We don't have a specific cut off date, rather we recommend placement based on each individual child. This practice has been very successful and it ensures children are within a class grouping where they can experience success. My school participated in the renorming study this past year and it was certainly reassuring to learn that while the language portions show some variation, the motor portions (fine/gross/grapho) have not changed from Dr. Gesell's early work 60 years ago. The LEAD Conference was a celebration of his, and many others in the field of child development, work.....and the need to redirect some of the current practices of pushing young children to do tasks that are not developmentally appropriate. We must continue to educate teachers, administrators, and parents for the benefit of the children.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Forty years ago, before anyone knew much about kindergarten, I was hired to start a class, in a rural public-school district in Western Massachusetts. I'd had excellent preparation to be a teacher, yet I lacked experience, or any practical method of building community confidence and support. Luckily for me (and my community) I came across an invitation to attend a Gesell Institute workshop. That's when I met Jacqueline (Jackie) Haines!
The value of what I learned at the workshop informed my practice for many years. The most often borrowed books from my family resource shelf were those that explained each chronological age in DEVELOPMENTAL terms, such as "Your Two Year Old".
The Gesell Institute is once again a part of my professional life. Why? Because good things (like some fashions) return approximately every 35 years.
Because Marcy Guddemi, who earned my trust through the work she did prior to coming to Gesell, warmly invited me to revisit the mission of the Institute and attend the LEAD conference in October 2010.
Because by attending the conference, I once again experienced the quality, devotion, and energy that fuels the mission of The Gesell Institute. The "icing on the cake" was speaking with Jackie Haines, and recalling the influence she had on my early career --- one that lasted 35 years!
That she, and other respected leaders in the field, such as Drs. Brazelton and Sparrow, attended the LEAD Conference, (and undoubtedly influenced new teachers), makes this organization worthy of the 2011 award.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I took my first Gesell workshop in the early 80s. I learned so much and I felt that my own understanding of development was verified by the work of Arnold Gesell. This workshop was a turning point in my career as a teacher and director in preschools that offered half-day classes for 2- to 5- year old children. The knowledge that children move through stages of development led to an understanding of what kind of curricula are appropriate for young children.

I attended the LEAD conference in October, 2010. It was fabulous. If you did not attend, you should welcome the Proceedings that will be available.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an early childhood professional, I understood the great responsibility I had in helping parents determine if their child was truly ready to move on to the next level in their education plan. The criteria at that time, and still remains, is chronological age at the time of entry into a program. It was particularly concerning when the cutoff date for entry where I was employed was December first. While attending a National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, I went to a presentation by the Gesell Institute of Human Development on, "The Gift of Time. Five Is Not Enough." This was the beginning of a wonderful journey.
The Gesell Institute gave me the tools I needed to assess the uniqueness of each child's development. Using this information, in partnership with the parents, together we could make a decision to provide every opportunity for their child to succeed.
One-size does not fit all. Each age and stage of development is unique.
The trainings and materials provided by the Gesell Institute became the cornerstone for planning the curriculum and addressing the areas of strength and areas needing more reinforcement for the children.
The children were not the only recipients of all we learned from the Gesell Institute. The teachers, the staff, the parents, the school, and ultimately the community benefitted from what I had learned as I began my journey.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a principal and teacher of private education for over 30 years, I have collaborted with the Gessell Institute of Human Development in many capacities.

This organization has proved to be a blessing not only in my teaching career, but as administrator and counselor working with diagnostic tools to identify, help, restore, and build confidence in hundreds of students who pass through our doors year after year.

The Gesell Institute has helped our staff to understand, identify, and implement protocols that assist in the proper development of every child. This organization has been most constructive in the lives of thousands of students and parents. For that I am most grateful and give the Gesell Institute a five-star rating.

More than any other institution, the Gesell Institute for Human Development is the most deserving one for the $5,000 Grand prize of the GuideStar - KIMBIA Winter 2011 Nonprofit Giveaway.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I attended the LEAD conference of the Gesell Institute last October. The speakers were inspirational. They shared information about child development, as well as how to support children in today's high-pressured world. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet others involved in the field of early childhood development. I was specially interested in the focus on advocacy promoted at the conference. Follow-up messages from the Institute with advice as to how to advocate for children have also been helpful. This is a group with a strong history of support for children, their parents and teachers. I hope they continue their important work.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have recently been in contact with the Gesell institute to inquire of a partnership. The staff have been helpful in directing me to other like minded individuals and still keep in touch with me in regards to their possible role in future collaboration. I work in British Columbia, Canada.
I hope to pursue further involvement in either a collaborative effort or a relationship where we can access resources from the institute to better serve our families here.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in several schools where the Gesell philosophy is foundational in the early childhood department for assessing school readiness, grade placement and determining developmentally appropriate curriculum. For 2 decades I have benefitted professionally from the Gesell Institute's ongoing research, training and resources available to teachers and parents.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 4

The Gesell Institute continues to be involved in programs, publications and research efforts which help parents and educators understand developmental stages in child development . These developmental stages of growth could be a benchmark for schools to help them develop age appropriate expectations. School systems are expecting young children to do tasks they are not developmentally ready to do successfully. The Gesell Institute has just completed an updated developmental observation assessment with 1400 subjects and the results of this study put The Gesell Institute on the cutting edge of research in the field of child development.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Gesell Institute of Human Development has been, and continues to be, instrumental in early childhood education. I have had numerous interactions with Gesell in the past, and they have been nothing but incredibly kind, passionate, and helpful individuals. They even put on a tremendous conference this past year, which brought together some of the strongest players in the field. I very much anticipate great things for Gesell in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Gesell Institute should be congratulated on the fine LEAD Conference sponsored by the Institute on October 14 and 15, 2010. The steller group of presenters were extremely knowledgeable and their presentations were clearly an example of why they are such respected leaders in the field of education.

The conference also provided the opportunity for people in the field to gether together to renew acquaintances, to be exposed to current developments and be rejuvenated in their chosen field to work with children.

What I personally experienced from the messages given by the presenters was encouragement that the respect and nurturing for childen that was the basis for Dr. Gesell's work continues to be the goal of these highly respected people.

There is no question that participants left the conference filled with validation of the importance of appropriate experiences for children bu renewed commitment to provide these.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an Early Childhood educator who believe strongly in the Gesell Institure. I know, first hand, how important it is to understand the significance of child development when determining a child's curriculum at school or a child's leisure time at home. Today's children are pressured to grow up quickly with social and academic information. The Gesell Institute is a LEADER in educating administrators, teachers and parents in developmentally appropriate practices for young children. It is imperative for the future of our children to educate adults who work with children. The impact of this knowledge can change a nation.
I have used many of Gesell's materials while working with parents, and in workshops for Early Childhood teachers. The GOD-R assessment tool is exceptional. It is wonderful to have The Gesell Institute as a resource in research based information to share with parents and teachers.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The mission of the Gesell Institute resonates throughout early childhood education and provides educators and parents with invaluable information about the developmental stages of childhood. I have been fortunate enough to attend, host, and promote GDO workshops as well as work with members of the Institute's National Lecture Staff to bring their expertise to our community. My school offers a developmental program which is inline with the Institute's philosophy and reinforces the importance between learning readiness and successful placement.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gesell Institute is more important than ever in this day and age. It continues to spread the need for developmentally appropriate practice for young children. We know how stressed young children are by being forced to grow up too soon and have academics forced on them when they should be enjoying their childhood and learning through play. The Gesell Institute has taken a leadership role in promoting healthy practices for young children and those of us who are professionals in the field of early childhood education support fully the Institute's work.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We were so pleased to be asked to be a part of the GDO survey. The interns who came to our school were nothing less than professional . The children loved doing the assessment and the feedback was very positive.
I have always admired the Gesell Institute and their work with young children, not only as a teacher, but as a parent. In so many schools where Kindergarten has become the new first grade, the Gesell Institute has refused to hop on the bandwagon and respects the developmental age of the child. My hope is that more educators will see the great work the Gesell Institute has done and change policies so all children can succeed i school at their own rate and time.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an adjunct professor, teaching classes in child development/early childhood education, I find the research and information that The Gesell Institute provides extremely valuable. The GDO-R is an assessment tool that determines the child's developmental age. Knowing the child's developmental age allows educators to provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for that child. I have seen the work of Gesell greatly benefit families, teachers, and administrators as they strive to provide exceptional learning experiences. I have been able to help my college students understand development and the impact that developmental age has on the child's ability to have success in school by using the research and information provided by Gesell Institute.

Review from Guidestar